Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Trump aide Flynn planned to 'rip up' Russian Federation sanctions: Whistleblower

Image Michael Flynn appears to look at his phone during President Trump's inauguration ceremony Michael Flynn appears to look at his phone during President Trump's inauguration ceremony. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
Bennie Garza | 07 December, 2017, 14:09

Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, promised to swiftly end USA sanctions against Russian Federation as one of the "first orders of business" for the incoming Trump administration, according to a whistleblower's account detailed in a new letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Democrats revealed the whistleblower's account in a letter sent by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to House Oversight Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC), which was released just as the New York Times published its own report on the claims.

"Our committee has credible allegations that President Trump's national security advisor sought to manipulate the course of global nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners", said Cummings.

"I believe the American people want Congress to hold President Trump and his administration accountable", Cummings wrote, "and they are exhausted of Republicans in Congress putting their heads in the sand when faced with credible allegations of grave abuses".

The unnamed whistleblower said that on Inauguration Day he met with Alex Copson, who had worked with Flynn on the plan.

The whistleblower, who provided his account to Cummings in June, said he was with Alex Copson, managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners, a key Flynn ally on the nuclear project, on January 20, Inauguration Day. The letter asks that the committee issue subpoenas for Flynn-related documents the committee requested on a bipartisan basis in March. "This is going to make a lot of wealthy people".

Gowdy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Michael Flynn reportedly told a business associate that the economic sanctions against Russian Federation would be "ripped up".

Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its probe of Russian interference in the presidential election, including about conversations with Russia's ambassador to the US about sanctions.

"I do not bring this whistle-blower to your attention lightly", Cummings said.

Mr. Gowdy and Mr. Cummings have a long history of clashing publicly over politically charged investigations. The whistleblower saw that the time stamp of the message was 12:11 pm, but did not read the text. Mr. Copson confirmed in a letter to me on June 27, 2017, that his company paid the expenses for a trip General Flynn made to the Middle East in June 2015 to promote his project and provided a $25,000 check to compensate him for the "loss of income and business opportunities resulting from this trip".

"Mr. Copson explained that Gen. Flynn was making sure the sanctions would be ripped up as one of his first orders of business and this would allow money to start flowing into the project", Cummings said, quoting the witness.

ACU Strategic Partners issued a statement on Wednesday saying, "No member of ACU received any communication in any form from General Flynn during the presidential campaign, the presidential transition, the inauguration, the period following the inauguration when General Flynn served as national security adviser or subsequent to General Flynn's resignation".

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